LEXINGTON, S.C. — For the past few months, the Town of Lexington has been managing traffic through a new grid system.
It's something you may not have noticed, but there are cameras on top of every stoplight in town.
The camera lenses are more or less making life easier in Lexington.
Traffic light cameras have been problem solving congestion for a few months now.
"The camera is actually looking out at the intersection in front of it and it has a specific parameter that it monitors. If cars pull up in that specific box, the camera recognizes that the box it full. When the box is full, it starts sending a signal back to the computer that 'Hey, there's congestion here, we need to eliminate this congestion,'" Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall said. "The computer looks at the cameras before and after that intersection to see if it turns green, will the intersections before and after it be able to handle the congestion it has in front of it, so it's making those decisions in real time."
The entire system cost the town upwards of $3.5M, with at least $1M coming from the federal government, and the town still has to allocate funds to the traffic budget to maintain it, but locals say it's helping.
"It's a good thing when it's working right," Lexington resident Al Hornsvy said.
MacDougall says the camera footage lasts 72 hours so the system can learn and become better. Then, it overwrites and deletes.
MacDougal tells News 19 the footage could be used by law enforcement in cases of serious crime like bank robberies and murders, and that it was used recently in an accident being disputed. But, it's primary use is to make your drive more efficient.
According to the mayor, when the new traffic grid system was turned on in December, it immediately reduced traffic congestion by 25% and it's been getting better by learning patterns over the past few months.